Gov. Susana Martinez
For the third year in a row, Gov. Susana Martinez announces a two-part crack-down on non-custodial parents who aren’t paying child support.
The child support bench warrant operation runs through the end of August.
Non-custodial parents with an outstanding bench warrant due to unpaid child support obligations may visit one of the 14 child support offices across the state, pay the full amount of the bond by Aug. 29, and get the warrant quashed or cancelled without fear of arrest.
During the final week of August, New Mexico State Police (NMSP) and local law enforcement partners, will begin the round up portion of the Bench Warrant Program, where non-custodial parents face arrest.
If an individual is unable to pay the full amount of the bond set by the court, a reduced bond payment or payment plan toward the amount of past due child support may be negotiated, with the consent of the parent to whom the support obligation is owed and the approval of the court that issued the warrant. Non-custodial parents with a written job offer may also request to negotiate a lower bond payment with wage withholding payments.
“You have to contribute to the upbringing of your children. Consistent child support payments are critical to helping kids and their families achieve economic stability, and New Mexico is committed to providing as many tools as possible to help parents support their children emotionally and financially,” Martinez said.
The child support program works to ensure that non-custodial parents are fulfilling their obligations to their children and custodial parents. During Fiscal Year 2014, the New Mexico Human Services Department (HSD) Child Support Enforcement Division (CSED) set yet another record in child support collections with a total of $137.1 million collected.
Each of the past three fiscal years, New Mexico has broken state records for child support collections, with CSED collecting $132.2 million in FY 2013 and $129.6 million in FY 2012. Thanks to innovative programs like Bench Warrant Amnesty, New Mexico was recognized by the National Child Support Enforcement Association in 2012 as the nation’s most improved.
A list of all non-custodial parents having outstanding bench warrants issued throughout the state is posted on the HSD website at http://www.hsd.state.nm.us/
“We look forward to assisting the Human Services Department again this year and partnering with other law enforcement agencies to round up those who failed to take advantage of the Bench Warrant Amnesty period,” said Department of Public Safety Secretary Gregory J. Fouratt.
Governor Martinez proclaimed August 2014 Child Support Awareness Month to salute all New Mexico parents who support their children, and encourage all parents to assume responsibility for improving the economic and social well-being of their children. The Governor’s proclamation declaring Child Support Awareness Month may be read here.